QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 81 - Page 18

Professor Ager is new director of global health institute In July, Professor Alastair Ager, a specialist in global health and humanitarian response, left his position at a New York university to take up the post of Director of International Health and Development at QMU. Professor Ager has worked in the field of global health and development for over twenty-five years and has previously held positions in Scotland, England, Malawi and the USA. Until recently, he was Professor of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at the Columbia University in New York, where he ran a doctoral programme on Leadership in Global Health and Humanitarian Systems supporting mid-career professionals in leadership development. A major focus of his current research is evaluation of humanitarian programming for refugee children (funded by DFID, the Wellcome Trust, UNICEF and World Vision), which has recently involved studies of Somalis displaced to Ethiopia, Congolese displaced to Uganda and Syrians displaced to Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. His current research also addresses health systems resilience in contexts of adversity (studies in the Middle East, West and South Africa) and the engagement of local faith communities in humanitarian response – the latter involving local faith group engagement with refugees in Jordan. Professor Ager was formerly Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Malawi, Director of the Centre for International Health Studies at QMU, and Senior Research Manager for the UK Department for International Development, with responsibility for the agency's global portfolio of health and education research. He has wide international experience as a lecturer, researcher and consultant across sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, Europe and North America, working with a range of inter-governmental, non-governmental and governmental agencies. On re-joining QMU, Professor Ager will continue his academic affiliation with Columbia University with a view to facilitating research collaboration between both institutions. Dr Fiona Coutts, Dean of Health Sciences at QMU, said: “We are delighted that Professor Ager will be returning to QMU. Over the years he has gained a wealth of experience in global health and development and has an impressive background in the leadership of education programmes and in research. We believe that he will build on the excellent work achieved by the Institute over the last few years, and that the progressive work of the team will continue to have an impact on the lives of thousands of people all over the world – those who have been displaced, are seeking asylum, are affected by disaster or conflict or communities which require improvements to healthcare systems.” Professor Ager’s appointment underlines QMU’s aim of being a socially relevant university which responds to some of the most pressing needs of society, and its commitment to improving quality of life. ❒ 18 QMYOU / Health & Rehabilitation